Departing teachers share memories, future plans: Chris Horpel


Written by Katie Zhang

After 40 years as a physical education (P.E.) teacher and wrestling coach, Chris Horpel is retiring. Horpel decided to come back to stay at Gunn after teaching industrial arts and coaching at both UCLA and Stanford. His decision to come back to Gunn in 2003 led him to continue to teach P.E. and coach wrestling at Gunn for 14 years.

After retiring, Horpel is looking forward to relaxing and traveling to places that he did not have enough time for when he was teaching and coaching. “One objective is to travel a little more and go during slower times when other people are not traveling,” Horpel said. “First up is a trip to Uluwatu in Bali to try surfing at some of the famous breaks there. I wouldn’t mind moving to Maui for a few months each winter, if I can convince my wife to do this. [There are] lots of surfing and windsurfing spots there too.”

Although Horpel is sad about leaving his wrestling athletes and students, he is grateful for the experiences he has had with those he worked with. “I did not get to know my P.E. students as well as my athletes, but they have both been great kids,” Horpel said. “Most of them share a desire to be very good [at] what they do. I have been very lucky!”

Even though Horpel will be leaving at the end of this school year, there are messages that he wanted to pass on to both current and future Gunn students. “It has been my pleasure getting to work with such great kids,” Horpel said. “I love them all and will miss getting to know all the future Gunn students. Maybe I will come back and coach again if all my ‘fun in the sun’ does not do it for me.”